Please read these terms of service carefully. It is assumed by all staff at Martial Arts planet that all members agree to abide by the terms of service detailed here. MAP reserves the right to modify the Terms of Service at any time and without prior notice to its members. Section1: General Information Section 2: User Accounts Section 3: Advertising Section 4: User Posted Content Section 5: Enforcement Of Rules This document is subject to periodical review and update. The onus is on you to check it from time to time. If in doubt about any aspect of what is and is not allowed at MAP please refer to this document. Section 1: General information 1.1 MAP Community Purpose: The core purpose of the Martial Arts Planet (MAP) community is to bring people together for the purpose of the friendly exchange of information relating to the study of the Martial Arts and associated topics. MAP Administrators reserve the right to revoke a membership at any time. 1.2 "Freedom of Speech": While we believe very much in freedom of speech & personal expression, you DO NOT have an absolute right to say whatever you want in this community. 1.2.1 Anything that goes against our core beliefs and the purpose for which this community was designed may not be allowed. 1.2.2 Posts and comments that are meant to incite conflicts between members or outside parties are strictly prohibited. 1.2.3 MAP Administration has the absolute right to view, edit, modify, close or delete any content found in this community. This may include amongst other things the Private Message system in situations where we have concerns about the conduct of one of our members. 1.3 Inviting outside Contact: "Inviting" is termed as a post where you invite other members to contact you to find out more information, rather than post it in the forum. This is not allowed and any posts with emails or invitations to contact for more information will either be edited or deleted entirely. 1.4 Posting Personal Contact Information (Address/ Phone Number): Members may not post personal contact information such as home address, work address, home telephone number, work telephone number, email address etc., in the public forums. 1.4.1 ANYONE, including guests to MAP, can read the public forums - this policy is in place for YOUR safety and protection. 1.5 Posting Links & URLs: While we prefer that all content be posted in the forums themselves (unless it is a copyright violation to do so) so our members will always be able to access it, we realize that some information must remain on remote sites as it may be too extensive to re-post. Posting links/URLs in the MAP forums is allowed as long as they substantiate a post, or are summarized. 1.5.1 Please do not post links with a comment such as, "Check out this link". Let members know what the link is about, rather than surprising them with it. 1.5.2 If you copy & paste content from elsewhere that you did not author, please credit your source. 1.6 Nudity / Pornographic & Adult Material: Nude and pornographic material is not acceptable anywhere in the Martial Arts Planet community. Overly suggestive photographs/pictures or "Jokes" etc will most likely be considered inappropriate material and removed. This includes links to sites containing adult content in the form of overly suggestive adverts. 1.7 Threats, Racism & Sexism: Threads or replies promoting or expressing intolerant views towards any group (race, religion, sexual preference, interracial couples, etc.) will not be tolerated. Consider this the only warning. Violators will be banned. 1.8 Sexual Conduct: It is the policy of Martial Arts Planet that sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and harassment include: unwelcome sexual advances (verbal, written or implied), requests for sexual favours, suggestive talk, name calling, discriminatory or derogatory remarks, and other verbal, written or implied abuse of any sexual or other nature. 1.9 "MAP Bashing": Threads/replies attacking Martial Arts Planet Policies will not be allowed. This policy document is not open for negotiation and membership of the MAP community is dependant on your compliance with it. 1.9.1 Further, any member found to be bad mouthing the Martial Arts Planet community at an outside location will be banned. 1.9.2 If you do not care for this community, you really have no business here anyway. 1.10 Use of the MAP name: No MAP member is permitted to use the MAP name in any cause that is not specifically authorized in writing by a MAP Administrator. It is sincerely appreciated when our members assist us in spreading the word about the Martial Arts Planet community, but to state to others that "MAP and I are blah blah blah" is not permissible unless it has been officially sanctioned by MAP. 1.11 Legal & Medical Related Posts & Issues: Martial Arts Planet DOES NOT endorse any legal or medical advice given within the Martial Arts Planet community. We highly recommend that members and guests get the advice of an accredited expert whenever possible and never rely on just one source. 1.12 Illegal Activities: Threads/replies encouraging illegal/unethical action are not allowed. Posts such as these will be deleted and may lead to you losing your posting privileges. This includes but is not limited to: - "Sharing" of copyright material through P2P networking programs such as Kazaa, eMule etc. or torrents; - Illegal trading in copyright material such as video tapes, DVD and CDs etc.; - Selling any copyright material where you also retain a copy yourself. 1.13 Drugs: Conversations relating to manufacturing and "hyping" (promoting or sensationalizing) of drugs and drug use are not welcome at MAP. 1.14 Jurisdiction: MAP is a UK owned and staffed forum, therefore any legal action should be settled in the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. Section 2: User accounts 2.1 User Accounts: A maximum of ONE account is allowed per person. We have the ability to track and match IP addresses on accounts. 2.1.1 If you are found to be using two or more accounts, one or more of them will be deleted and you may be banned from MAP all together depending on the situation. The bottom line here is to register one account and stick with it. 2.1.2 If you have account problems, contact a MAP Administrator or Global Moderator. 2.2 Contact Information: Please be sure that if you change your personal email address that you do so here at Martial Arts Planet as well. If you lose your password in the future, you will need to have a current and valid email address in your profile to receive the lost password, and verify any changes. 2.3 Impersonating Members & Accessing other's Accounts: You may not impersonate another member or create an account for the purpose of provoking other users. 2.3.1 This includes creating an account very similar to another member as to confuse others by the similarity in names. 2.3.2 Accessing or using someone else's account, attempting to access another memberï¿½s account or allowing another person to access your account is strictly prohibited. 2.4 Signatures: Signatures are currently allowed at MAP but are a privilege that may be revoked if abused. 2.4.1 Signature content must adhere to the general guidelines on suitable content 2.4.2 No commercial advertising. 2.4.3 A maximum of 4 lines of text or a signature graphic banner. 2.4.4 Signature graphics must be 350x100 pixels or less (landscape format) and 15k in files size or less. 2.4.5 Animated signature graphics are distracting so please do not use them. 2.5 Avatars: Personal avatars are allowed at MAP. 2.5.1 Adhere to the general guidelines on suitable content 2.5.2 Are 100x100pixels or less and 10k in file size or less 2.6 Post attachments: Graphics uploaded to MAP web space rather than linked from your own use bandwidth. Please keep file sizes to a minimum and certainly below 75k 2.7 Trying to Circumvent a Ban/ Block: If you log onto MAP and receive a message that you have been banned, please feel free to get in touch via email to discuss the situation. 2.7.1 You may NOT re-register under a new name even if the software lets you. 2.7.2 If you try to sign up again and we catch you, then it will become a permanent IP Ban. We rarely send out notices that you have been banned. 2.8 Donations: A donation to MAP is exactly that, a donation. While all donations are gratefully recived, a donation is not a payment for a service of any type, and should not be viewed as such. 2.8.1 MAP cannot guarentee site uptime for supporting members. 2.8.2 Supporting Members have no extra priviliges on this site. 2.8.3 Supporting members are not exempt from following the terms of service of the site, and are just as able to have their membership removed as any other member. 2.8.4 Should you be banned or decide to leave of your own accord, you will not be entitled to a refund on your donation. Section 3: Advertising 3.1 General advertising guidelines MAP has a NO free advertising policy. This includes goods or services for sale, the promotion of discussion forums, message boards, chat sites, commercial businesses & services. 3.1.1 You may publicise your club websites discreetly in your signature. You may however post a direct link to an outside site given that the information is RELEVANT to a question someone else has requested, or you believe it will be helpful to others. Sneaky advertising will not be tolerated. 3.1.2 If you have a business or service that you think will benefit the members of MAP, please contact Mitch or Simon via email, or the message system for our advertising rates. 3.2 Advertising your club For those of you who would like to post more details of your martial arts club we have a section in each style forum where Supporting Members can advertise their club. 3.3 Martial Arts Seminars & Events Martial arts seminars and events may be advertised by regular members in the "Event Promotion" forum. 3.3.1 Please see the rules there for specific requirements. 3.3.2 If you wish to pay to advertise, please contact an Administrator via the PM (Private Messaging) system. Section 4: Forum post, chat, journal & other user posted content 4.1 Profanity: While we understand that most of our members are grown adults, we do also have young adults and children that visit MAP. Further, many people are offended by vulgar language. If you feel you must swear to get your point across, then please do it elsewhere. 4.1.1 This includes attempts to disguise profanity by using *s to mask letters or by the use of acronyms and abbreviations. 4.2 Language: MAP is an English speaking forum. Please take the time to post in plain, legible English. 4.2.1 This is not a mobile phone text service so you do not need to use abbreviations to reduce the length of your post. It makes it hard for those not used 2 txt sp34k 2 read wot u r saying. 4.2.2 Asian characters such as kanji and kana must be accompanied by an English translation. 4.3 Abuse / Flaming / Derogatory Comments: Abusive Comments, personal attacks, flaming, or derogatory insults or comments are strictly forbidden. 4.3.1 It is fine to disagree with another member's point of view, but please do so in a mature and civil manner. 4.3.2 If someone posts to discuss their personal problems or seeks help from other forums members, please do not respond unless you have something positive or helpful to add. 4.3.3 If you find yourself being flamed or insulted by another member, please do not dignify that person with a response. Notify a moderator and let us handle it. 4.4 Spamming & Cross Posting: Spamming and Cross Posting is defined as posting the same information or content (full or partial) in two or more posts. We understand that some topics might fit into more than one forum or category but we ask that you please pick the best one and stick with it. 4.5 Trolling/ Inciting Conflict: "Trolling" or making posts with the intention of creating problems on the forums is obviously against the forum guidelines. 4.5.1 This includes registering an alternative ID for the sole purpose of creating problems on the forums. "Troll ID's" will be locked immediately and permanently, and the primary account holder may be banned. 4.5.2 Members that visit MAP only to participate in "conflict" threads or who incite others on other forums and websites to do so are not welcome here and their account may be temporarily suspended or permanently removed. 4.6 Attacking MAP Moderators & Administrators: Posting a thread or reply to question or criticize moderator or administrator action is not appropriate in a public forum. Please utilize the boardï¿½s Private Message function, or email, if you wish to discuss these issues. As long as you bring up your concerns maturely and civilly to the moderator or administrator in question, we will do our best to address your concerns fairly and promptly. Here are the Dos and Don'ts of addressing your concerns to moderators or administrators: 4.6.1 Do be civil and polite. Bring up your concerns in a mature and respectful manner. If you are contacting us because you violated forum guidelines, be adult enough to admit your mistake. If your ID has been locked for some reason, talking politely to us about it in private, via e-mail or private message, can get your ID reinstated in many cases. 4.6.2 Do not be derogatory or insulting towards us. You will not get what you want by name calling or bashing us. 4.6.3 All we ask is that you treat us the way you would want us to treat you. If you treat us with respect, we will do the same for you. 4.7 "Junk" Posting: "Junk" posts are posts that do not add to the overall positive content in threads, or are postings solely for the purpose of boosting your post count. A good example of this can be found in threads asking for information on a topic for which you have no answer and does not inquire directly (by name) of you to answer. If you were to reply to this thread by saying, "Nope, I have no information", this is a junk post. There is no reason to comment because your silence is as good as saying you do not have any information to contribute. If they are asking you personally (by name) though, please do feel free to reply regardless of whether you have the answer or not. Many people judge member's credibility based on post count, so we ask that you obtain your post count legitimately. Furthermore, junk posts add up over time and waste server space and ISP bandwidth unnecessarily. 4.8 "Bumping" Threads: "Bumping" a thread is when you make a post for the purpose of making the thread appear on the "View New Posts" option, or light up as forums with new posts do. This is not allowed at MAP. 4.9 "Off-Topic" Posts: These are posts that do not relate to the original post/topic, or are placed in the wrong category. While we realize threads often expand into different topics, we encourage members to do their best to stick with the original topic, or start another thread. 4.9.1 Off-Topic posts are subject to editing or removal at moderators' discretion, and without notification. 4.10 Posting in the Appropriate Forum: Please post your topics in the most appropriate forum. If you post a thread that would be more appropriate in another forum, a moderator will move it for you. However, please do not make the moderators do this for you. Use your judgment to determine which forum best suits your topic. If you are dealing with a topic that could appropriately fit in more than one forum, please pick the one you feel is closest to your topic. 4.11 Thread Subject Titling: As MAP grows, it becomes increasingly important to properly title the subject of new threads. People find the threads that they are interested in mostly by scanning the titles, even when searching with our site search engine. 4.11.1 Thread titles that are non descriptive such as "Check this out" are not allowed. 4.11.2 MAP Moderators may change the title of any thread to assist in describing the content of the thread without notifying the member who started the thread. In some cases, a moderator may also contact the member if it is evident the member is having a problem with titling to give tips. 4.12 Splitting: When a thread is split into two, a new thread title has to be chosen. This is done by the moderator who splits it. The new title will be as objective as possible, and not chosen to deliberately cause embarrassment to any individual. 4.12.1 If you have an issue with the new title of a thread, please bring it up with a moderator in private. They can be changed, but a moderator's decision is final. 4.13 Referrals / Commissions / Affiliate Links: Members are NOT allowed to post links that lead to any type of affiliate program where points are given or any type of prize or monetary value is awarded. 4.13.1 Members found to be posting links such as these will have their posting privileges suspended. Repeated violations will result in banning. 4.14 Private Messaging (PM) Chat and the Journal System: ALL of the rules listed apply to the Private Messaging, Chat and Journal system also, especially soliciting, advertising and sexually related content. 4.14.1 Using the PM, Chat or Journal system in an attempt to circumvent forum posting rules will be considered a violation of those rules. Persistent offenders may have their access to these facilities removed. 4.14.2 Private Messages are private. Do not post the contents of private mesages in public forum areas. That includes Chat, Journals and all other public site areas. Private messages may be read by Admins in situations where we are concerned over the actions of one of our members. 4.14.3 Lurking in the Chat room is not permitted. Lurking involves being logged into chat for an extended period with no attempt to contribute to the discussion. Lurking wastes bandwidth. 4.14.4 If you are found to be lurking in chat a moderator may kick you out. This will automatically prevent you from using the chat system for a period of several hours. Repeat offenders may be dealt with under the procedures in section 5.5 and 5.6 4.15 Reporting Posts and Private Messages The report post function is there to serve as an efficient way of notifying the moderators that there is a post or private message that clearly breaks the Terms of Service. Abuse of this function includes, but is not limited to, using it to report posts or messages (by a member with whom you may have a disagreement) that do not actually break the Terms of Service. Repeated abuse may result in sanctions (see 5.5 and 5.6). 4.15.1 By reporting a private message you authorise the Martial Arts Planet staff to read the message and intervene on your behalf. Section 5: Enforcement of rules 5.1 Moving of Posts: MAP Moderators and Administrators will move threads & replies to the most appropriate forum often without notice to the member who started a thread. Please spend a little extra time making sure where you start a thread is the best place for it, and donï¿½t rely on moderators to do this for you. Members found to blatantly post threads "wherever" may lose their posting privileges. 5.2 Deleting Posts and Closing Threads MAP Administration has the right to close or remove any post or thread we deem inappropriate. The decision to Close or Delete a Post/Thread is solely ours. We have a strict policy of keeping the posts in this community constructive. 5.2.1 Posts that create an unnecessary amount of conflict and serve no further purpose may be closed at the moderator's discretion. 5.3 Administration Dispute Resolution: If you are having a problem on MAP that you feel you cannot solve by any other means available to you, we invite you to contact one of the MAP administrators via PM or email. 5.3.1 Administrators have the final say with anything in this community. 5.4 Disciplinary Procedure: Violating the rules in this document may see one or a combination of the following disciplinary procedures being invoked. 5.4.1 Which type and level is applied to which offence is solely at our discretion and is judged on an individual case basis. 5.4.2 Almost ALL disciplinary action is discussed amongst senior staff and Administrators before application. 5.5 Removal of Permissions : If you break a rule you may lose some of your permissions on the site. For example, abuse of the Private Message (PM) system may result in your being unable to private message for a period of time. Rule violations in a particular forum area could see your posting permissions for that area removed. 5.5.1 Should any permissions be removed, you will be notified by email as to the duration. 5.6 Banning: In extreme or repeated cases of disregard for these Terms of Service, members may be temporarily or permanently banned from the site. 5.6.1 While temporary bans can be of any duration, common bans are 3, 7 and 14 days. 5.6.2 Due to the volume of members, we do not have time to contact banned members individually. If you feel your banning is in error, please politely discuss it with an Administrator.